The 6 Key Words That Help To Answer “How We Do It!”

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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"Oh my goodness, how do you guys do it?"

That’s the 53 thousand dollar question we often get asked when people find out that we have 8 kids (By the way, we have 8 kids, in case you didn’t know.. :-))

That mildly expensive question is usually followed with questions like, “How do you get time for yourselves?” or “How do you keep from going crazy?” or “How are you not broke?”

Truth is- we really don’t have a secret formula, and we are not gifted with parenting awesomeness (yes, a real thing, I think). We have screwed up so many times on this journey. A lot of what I write about has come from painful lessons learned. We have to read Henry Cloud and John Townsend‘s Boundaries With Kids every single year, over and over again, just like the next parent! Heck, this blog has the word “confession” in it because we are trying to figure things out like you are!

However, we have learned some things and we have figured a lot of stuff out when it comes to successful parenting. I wouldn’t call us experts, by any stretch of the imagination, but there are lessons we can safely pass on to first-time parents because we’ve been there, done that, and have the scars to prove it!

So to answer the common question of “how do you do it?” I’ve listed 6 key things, or words, that have helped us succeed as both parents and marriage partners. Here they are:

Key Word #1- Intentionality.

We decided a long time ago that we would be intentional about parenting and intentional about our marriage. We had this hunch that things would not fall into place by chance. We realized that we had to do things on purpose. If we want a healthy connection to one another in our marriage then we have to intentionally plan date nights and get-a-way weekends, and stay in constant communication. Not an easy thing- it takes work- all the time. If we want to have children who are respectful and compassionate then we have to intentionally instill those values in them. Again, not easy. It takes hard work. Over and over.

Key Word #2- Routine.

My wife is a master at managing chaos. She is also a master at creating and sticking to routines. We have found that our children do quite well when they know what to expect. And they know what to expect from sticking to a routine. This sounds boring in a lot of regards but it helps to keep their little minds calm. Children do not fair well in ever-changing environments. Routines are a good thing.

Key Word #3- Consistency.

The formula is simple: consistency applied over time = positive results. It’s not always easy but if you stay consistent to your parenting and marriage plan you will see positive results. We have seen tremendous success with this on both fronts. Specifically with our children, we have been able to navigate some tough seasons simply by sticking to our plan.

Key Word #4- Faith.

For us, as Christ-followers, it’s not just about believing in Jesus but actually believing Him and having faith that He is holding on to us and guiding us as we live life with one another and lead our children. I realize that not all of my readers are believers in Christ and that’s okay. It’s about having faith in a higher power and a better life. Faith keeps you grounded. Faith keeps you focused. Faith leads you through tough times and renews your strength. However you find that is up to you. But it is a huge component to success.

Key Word #5- Commitment.

That’s right, good old-fashioned commitment. Bottom line- we are committed to one another through thick and thin (and trust me, there have been lots of both in 15 years!). We are also committed to raising our children to be healthy, productive adults. This is far, far, far from easy (did I mention it was was far? :-)). There are way more tough times than easy times but it’s worth it. And we aren’t going to quit! Commitment goes a long way to parenting and marriage success.

Key Word #6- Financial Freedom (okay that’s 2 words!)

We’re debt free, except for our house. This means we have no unsecured debt like car loans, home equity lines of credit, credit card debt, etc. When you are in debt you are truly a slave to the lender and your money belongs to other people. We dropped those chains in 2009. Since kicking debt to the curb, we’ve been able to save money and provide for our children in ways we never could have when we were in debt. The other cool thing is that we have money to spend on the things we like (like going to Florida every year for spring break ;-)) I highly recommend giving Dave Ramsey’s plan a shot if you are looking to make the same change in your life…get it? “make some change!” Because we’re talking about money…I’m hilarious!).

It’s not always perfect…okay…it’s never perfect. There are days if you peeked into our house you would ask yourself…”is that even legal?” Okay, not really, but it really is messy at times. Actually, it’s beautifully messy. I like that- beautifully messy! I’m going to write that down for the future. I need more sleep!

Question: Do you have a lot of children and one crazy life like ours? What are some key words that you stick to that have helped you in your parenting and marriage journey? Comment now!

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.